Faiths & Other Human Connections

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Faiths and other Human Connections

TWO ITEMS SELECTED–select one from early Islamic civilization and one from early and Medieval Christianity: 

FROM EARLY ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION: After reviewing the EXPLORE pages and websites listed above, review also the INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS for Week 5. Then select one of the following:a) Describethe main purpose and location of the Hajj in the Muslim faith, and identify two specific aspects of the Hajj that you find fascinating or significant. b)Discuss the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, including the significance of its location and the association of Muhammad with that location.c)Describe the sacred art of Islam’s key qualities, and explain the fundamental reasons why Muslim artists of sacred works are reluctant to include images of humans (i.e., at least in sacred areas). 

EARLY and MEDIEVAL CHRISTIANITY:After reviewing the EXPLORE pages and websites listed above, review also the INSTRUCTOR INSIGHTS for Week 5.Then, choose one of the following:a)Identifytwoaspects of Romanesque cathedral architecture, and explain their significance. b)Explain the justification given by those Christian leaders who supported and carried out the first crusades, and give your take .c) Discuss two details one might encounter or experience on the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (i.e., on the way and/or once there) that you think a medieval Christian pilgrim might find especially meaningful.

  • ONE ISSUE DISCUSSED:Choose one of the two following topics and discuss it in a just a few sentences.a)A pilgrimage can take many forms, like the Hajj or the one to Santiago de Compestela or any of major pilgrimage feasts of ancient Israel or modern Buddhist pilgrimages to Nepal or northern India.These are vivid experiences that remind of one’s spiritual heritage and reinforce a spiritual dimension.Write a paragraph of something you do or would like to do that has this sort of sacred meaning.Or, b) The crusaders (at the start anyway) thought they were in the right, liberating holy places that had been governed by Christians before the Muslim conquests.The Muslims thought they were in the right, as they had inhabited and controlled these areas for a long period.It seems like one can always point a finger and find a rationale (Putin considers Ukraine historically part of Russia, as it is a very new independent country).Write a few sentences suggesting ways to resolve such disagreements before hostilities begin; use a specific example, ancient or modern.


Muslim Structures and Pilgrimage

Christian Structures, Pilgrimage, the Crusades

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